On Giving Birth and Giving Grace
When preparing to push a whole human out of your body, taking a birthing class only seemed like the responsible thing to do. So we signed up and put all of our informational eggs in that one basket. It would be just like the movies right?
Why haven’t I learned? That is always the wrong thought to have…
9:00am on Saturday morning we showed up to find ourselves the only attendees to this said ‘Confident Childbirth’ class. An ex-smoker, diabetic woman drinking some sort of mystery flat Coke-Cola out of a Lisa Frank tumblr proceeded with diagrams and videos.
The videos were shown on a TV from the 90’s and the diagrams must have been hand drawn but a small child, but 6 hours later, it was the massage segment that was the real kicker. I could’ve done without the stories about her romantic time with her ex-boyfriend and the yoga voodoo that tried to convince me all my limbs were floating away.
Okay so that class wasn’t all that helpful, I was just glad we got our money back. But regardless, I still had high hopes for the type of labor and delivery I would have. Al’ natural (said in a fancy voice), was my only ticket. People kept telling me I could do it.
As if since I ran a marathon, giving birth would be nothing! I borrowed a whole Hypnobirthing CD set, read the book and did the research. Bring it on labor! This mama’s got tools in her birthing tool belt and she’s ready to use em’!
Then I called my Pediatrician. When do you need to see him? In one to two days! Are you sure that is soon enough? Something could happen to him in the next 24 hours. Is he supposed to sleep this much?
And then at 2am on Christmas morning I went into labor and all my high hopes flew out the window like that plastic bag Katy Perry sings about. Three hours in, while laboring at home my sweet husband tried to offer some of those Hypnobirthing techniques I had so diligently devoted myself to…
I responded as if those words were toxic to me and made him vow not to bring it up again. An epidural and 17hrs later we welcomed our precious baby girl into the world. 7:21pm, 8lbs and 20inches long…our lives were forever changed.
I was healthy. Our baby was healthy. But for weeks after I wrestled with guilt for the type of labor and delivery I had. As if giving birth was some sort of test of my strength that I failed. I was ashamed at how quickly I took the help offered to me and disappointed that I didn’t try harder. Grace upon grace. That’s what I’m learning these days are all about. Grace in gallons, that’s what I need.
(But for real, there’s a reason they call it labor. That pain is no joke. And to all you mamas who were successful in the natural approach…I can’t even explain how much respect I have for you.)